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Click here to find out where the gathering will be.
Click here to find out how to get into the gathering without receiving a mandatory court appearance ticket. (check the right hand side of the page)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

On the Unsigned Operating Plan

The United States Forest Service has regulations requiring a permit for 75 or more people to gather, camp, hangout etc, on at National Forest.  For many years the gathering refused to sign the permit and there was lot's of drama and conflict. For a history of those years, read Plunker's Permit Herstory or my own short history.

From these conflicts we have evolved into a model of using an unsigned operating plan worked out with the United States Forest Service (USFS) Resource personnel and gathering participants on the land.  While I understand some people oppose this, I personally feel that it has been working very well for our family since 2010.  But in order for this model to keep working, we need you to participate in the process.

For people who are at spring council/counsel/circle and/or at seed camp, you will be the people meeting first with the USFS resource people who have knowledge about the land on which we are going to gather -- the plants, the wildlife, the topography -- and working with them, we can collectively put together an unsigned (key point) operating plan.

Once we land at HOME, please try to set up a daily or alternating day council/circle/counsel with the USFS resource personnel in the model of previous unsigned operating plans. Click here for a incomplete archive.  Encourage as many people as you can to become involved in the process. When the council/circle/counsel happens, listen to each voice and the concerns they bring to the table -- USFS and non-USFS alike.  Be creative on proposing solutions to issues that arise. Be patient. Some years we spend a week sitting in council/circle/counsel with the USFS trying to work on a document. Think about concerns that others you know may have and raise those as well with
gathering participants and the USFS folks. Bring copies of old operating plans that we worked on.

Keep in mind, that it is the process of writing the unsigned operating plan that matters: the discussions, the dialogue, the deep listening, and the proposed solutions are the real win here. The USFS just wants a piece of paper for their file.

We all know that when we sit down in a circle and peacefully and respectfully discuss the issues, we all win.  Please be part of the circle/council/counsel. Please be the change you wish to see in the world.


  1. Has a location been chosen?

    1. From another blog post, there's conference for scouts on Sunday the 5th; they should decide on a location within a few days afterwards . by the 8th according to another post.

  2. The next step is the location of spring council/counsel/circle.

  3. spring council to decide site starts the 10th


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